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Workers age 65 and older account for smaller share of total work-related deaths in 2020

September 06, 2022

There were 676 work-related fatal injuries for workers age 65 and older in 2020, accounting for 14.2 percent of the total work deaths that occurred during the year. This is the lowest share for the age group since 2016.

Percent of total fatal work injuries that occurred among workers age 65 and older, 2011–20
Year Percent of total

2011

12.1%

2012

12.7

2013

12.1

2014

14.2

2015

13.4

2016

13.3

2017

15.1

2018

14.5

2019

14.9

2020

14.2

The agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industry had 171 deaths among workers age 65 and older in 2020, down 9.5 percent from 2019. In the transportation and warehousing industry, workplace deaths among workers age 65 and older fell 29.8 percent, from 141 death in 2019 to 99 deaths in 2020. These two industries accounted for nearly 40 percent of the total work-related fatalities for workers age 65 and older in 2020.

Number of fatal work injuries to workers age 65 and older, selected industries, 2016–20
Industry 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

189 212 189 189 171

Transportation and warehousing

107 136 114 141 99

Construction

79 106 102 111 97

Retail trade

37 45 46 40 44

Manufacturing

27 29 33 42 45

Most fatal injuries result in a same-day death, but some are cases where the death occurs later. These are known as latent cases. In some cases, the death occurs in a different year than the work injury and are known as cross-year latent cases. In 2020, there were 73 cases where this occurred for workers age 65 and older, and 69 of these latent cases occurred more than 30 days before the start of 2020.

These data are from the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. To learn more, see “National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2020.” We also have more charts on fatal work injuries.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Workers age 65 and older account for smaller share of total work-related deaths in 2020 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2022/workers-age-65-and-older-account-for-smaller-share-of-total-work-related-deaths-in-2020.htm (visited September 24, 2022).

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